Man plans, God laughs. You should have went with Flywheel.
This is my story about how a once powerful hosting company lost its fundamental values and became the laughing stock of the hosting world. Bluehost is now an official scam.
It’s one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world. Why do they suck? For starters, they are not whom they say they are, and if you dig deep enough, you’re guaranteed to find chaos. I was a client of this disorganized powerhouse. Their employees are afraid to speak up because they are monitored continuously by Big Bluehost. This is not a hating nor a comparison article. This article attempts to capture the moral compass that some businesses follow, and others don’t, and why you need never to doubt yourself. I give facts, no more and no less.
As many of you already know, I took a break from the design world and entered the land of the living as a digital marketer for one of the largest electrical companies here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My issues began when I returned to the hosting world and restarted my web design company. I had zero intentions of going with anyone except the new emperor of web hosting, WP Engine. Bluehost had contacted me frequently to see if I wanted to join up, I said to myself, let’s do it, I’ve seen enough of their ads and reviews to warrant complete trust. I get to Bluehost, and there are immediate signs that things would be difficult. Perhaps the fact that they lost my website during the migration process should have spawned some exit plan for me. I would speak with countless Bluehost employees who would tell me horror stories that blew my mind. They explained to me that since Bluehost got bought out by the Endurance Group in 2010, it’s been a different company, and if you continue to read this article, you’ll see why.
I was down for three weeks. Let me repeat that I was down for three weeks. I almost lost my business, my soul, and my dignity during those three weeks. There would be times when they would tell me that the site was ready to go! It was never ready to go. After repeated calls that 3rd week, I finally got a hold of someone in sales. That’s how bad this experience was; I had to call sales for an answer that should have been handled by tech support weeks prior. I probably had ten seconds to come across as if I was an authority on the subject, what this meant to my business, that I was three weeks late in starting my business, the clientele I had lost, and to not look or sound as if I was off my rocker. Why? Because you never knew who you would get on the phone and for that very reason, I had to learn how to get their attention. For my troubles, they asked me if I wanted to be on their newly managed Bluehost Pro package for a year for free. It came with all of their high-end apps for free and a $150 gift card, but not an apology. I stayed instead of walking away as I should have.
They ended up transferring me to a new platform, I was getting settled in, and while 33, on Bluehost has a secret DOS attack. I was loading content on my webpage, and suddenly the whole WordPress dashboard became this big pile of jello. I contact a number they had given me in case this happened again, and told them what had happened. I must have been the only one that knew about this because, in the next two weeks that my site was down, no one could confirm or deny that anything took place. It did. And after repeated letters, emails, and pity sessions, they send me this:
For those that do not know what a DOS attack is:
“A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the Internet. Denial of service is typically accomplished by flooding the targeted machine or resource with superfluous requests to overload systems and prevent some or all legitimate requests from being fulfilled.”
That’s not good.
It’s like my website had no intention of being launched; I was leaking money; I had lost any initial clientele that had wanted to do business with me; I was a man without a paddle in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I couldn’t get them to grasp the fact that because of their incompetence, I had probably lost upwards of $ 8,000. I received more emails from them saying that they are working on my site and that I need to look at a VPS. Really? Is that how bad your shared platform is that you recommend a Virtual Private Server because of your shared servers? According to Technicopedia, a virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual server that the user perceives as a dedicated/private server even though it is installed on a physical computer running multiple operating systems; it’s faster than a server. Instead of having 8000 users on one server, there are only four per VPS servers. I finally get my site up, almost two months later, can you believe that? Does it register? 41 days after I attempted my comeback into the world of web design, I finally get to launch my site. It’s not over.
I SLOWLY start getting my clients back. Isn’t it great to be honest? You feel good about yourself. It might be painful at the beginning, but it’s the best policy! Yeah right. Let me tell my clients the truth about why it took two months to get their websites going; that oh that? Right, hmm, well, let me tell you what happened; cyber attackers from Yemen took over a shared server at Bluehost for a few days, and that was only a small percentage of why I couldn’t get to your website! I had a better plan that didn’t put me in that situation. The first three websites I create, I had no choice but to go with WP Engine. I told the clients that I would prefer to build their websites over at WPE, and that was that. I would spend all day on this dreamy, incredible platform called WP Engine. When I was previously building websites back in 2013, their platform was incredible back then. Today? All I can say is WOW. They noticed me. I don’t know how, but they did. I tend to sell myself short most of the time.
I get this email from WPE asking if I wanted to join their Partner Agency Program. It’s a program that helps the little guy like me survive, evens the playing field, and it enables me to build as many sites as I want to for all of my potential clients. There must be a higher power. I jumped on that so fast. The results? They have been amazing. Problems? None. Issues? None, their tech support? Best in the world. Customer service? Best in the universe, I would say better than Zappos, and that’s saying a lot.
Even my last interaction with Bluehost was horrible. There was a $250 refund I never got, it got lost, and they did nothing to fix it. When I migrated over to WP Engine, Bluehost disconnected my domain name and wouldn’t attach it back. I begged them to get that reattached, and then Bluehost said that I didn’t have an account with them even though they were my domain hosting service. Mind-blowing. The last time I was on their webpage was last week when I transferred my domain to Google Domains.
Do not be cheap with tools that impact your livelihood, buy the best, your business deserves it, you deserve it. You owe it to your clients, and the only way to begin your journey into the new brave online world is with Flywheel. Want to learn how to start a website?
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